The recent announcement of the decision of the Australian Government not to finance what is described as Phase 11 of the project for the New Parliament for Grenada, must be analyzed closely from two perspectives-:
• The development of the project and something that occurred during the planning phase or Phase 1 of the project and
• The contents of the letter from the Australian High Commissioner to Hon. Nicholas Steele, Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which he conveyed the decision of the Government of Australia not to finance the construction phase of the project referred to as Phase 11 or the construction of the project.
(1) According to reliable sources, the representative of the Government of Australia involved in the planning phase or Phase 1 of the project, on realising that the contract of Cecil Harris as Chief Technical Officer (paid for by the Commonwealth Secretariat) was about to end, made a special appeal to the Government of Grenada for the services of Mr Harris to be continued as Project Manager in the best interest of the project.
After the change of Government in February 2013, the new NNP administration was more concerned with jobs for the boys and Mr Harris was replaced with no regard for the special appeal. There could be no doubt that the track record and experience of a certain individual who was brought into the ministry by government would have been checked by the Australians.
What follows from this is that the Australians would have noted that that individual was also involved in the construction of the first National Stadium which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Is it not reasonable to conclude that when the Australians had to make the decision as to the Caribbean project to cut for 2013 this project would have been at the top of the list?
(2) The letter from the Australian High Commissioner to Grenada’s Foreign Minister was released in part by the Government of Grenada, and published on the website of George Grant’s Grenada Broadcast.com.
Firstly, the letter makes reference to the Australian Government’s announcement of its decision on January 18th, 2014 to reduce its expenditure for aid in the Caribbean and Latin America and to phase out its aid programs in that region.
As part of the withdrawal, the aid budget in the Caribbean was reduced by AUD$3.2 million for 2014 (from $11.2 million to $8.0 million). The letter then goes on to say “Unfortunately, this means Australia is unable to make a contribution to Phase 11 (construction phase) of the Grenada Parliament House Reconstruction Project.”
Simple arithmetic clearly shows that the Grenada project was the only project to be cut by the Australians for aid financing in the Caribbean for 2014. Recall that according to the architect for the project in a published interview, actual construction work on the project was due to start in about 90 days. There was therefore no doubt that this project was going to start in 2014.
Grenadians who are capable, need to spend more time analyzing all the information available to them and sharing the results with those less capable. This will at least, make it not so easy for politicians who are hell bent on distracting the population from the real issues with lies.
For example the lie being sold on this matter – the opposition forces are celebrating that the Australians have decided to pull their financing for the project.